Drone pilot arrested for Levi’s Stadium flyover
A Sacramento man was arrested on suspicion of flying a drone over Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara during Sunday’s San Francisco 49ers-Seattle Seahawks game, police said.
According to police, 55-year-old Tracy Michael Mapes was arrested in Oakland near the Oakland Coliseum as he attempted to do the same thing at the Oakland Raiders-Denver Broncos game.
Santa Clara police Lt. Dan Moreno said Mapes took his drone – which police confiscated – and released leaflets that described his issues with local television stations. Moreno said most of the leaflets blew out of Levi’s Stadium due to the wind.
Mapes left the Santa Clara area before police could capture him, but they got a vehicle description of Mapes’ car to Oakland police and Alameda County Sheriffs patrolling the game in Oakland. They found Mapes and arrested him before he could release his drone near the East Bay stadium.
He was transferred back to Santa Clara County by the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, according to Moreno. He was cited and released for violating a municipal code in Santa Clara prohibiting the flying of drones over the stadium.
However, Moreno said the case is still under investigation as Mapes flew over restricted airspace and violated FAA regulations for flying the drone over an event at the stadium.
Moreno said Mapes will have a court date within 45 days.